Kentucky: Council on Postsecondary Education

Statewide P-16 Council
March 23, 2005
a.m. (ET)
Kentucky Department of Education
State Board Room, Capital Plaza Tower
Frankfort, KY

  1. Roll Call
  2. Approval of December 14, 2005 Minutes (59K PDF) 
  3. Report from Local P-16 Councils
  4. Roundtable Discussion:

    Preparing Students to Compete in a 21st Century Economy: Redesigning the Kentucky High School

    As announced at the National Governors' Association (NGA) National Education Summit on High Schools held in Washington, D.C. February 26 - 27, 2005, Kentucky is one of thirteen states that have formed a new coalition committed to transforming high schools by raising standards, requiring all students to take more rigorous curricula, and developing tests and accountability systems that address students' readiness for postsecondary experiences. The other twelve states are Arkansas, Georgia, Indiana, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Texas. Other states are expected to join the coalition in the coming weeks.

    Specifically, the states have committed to taking four actions:

    • Raise high school standards to the level of what is actually required to succeed in college or in the workforce.
    • Require all students to take rigorous college and work-ready curriculum.
    • Develop tests of college and work readiness that all students will take in high school.
    • Hold high schools accountable for graduating all students ready for college and work, and hold colleges accountable for the success of the students they admit.

    Each state will develop a specific plan and timetable for addressing objectives, and will report regularly on state progress.

    Prior to the Summit, Kentucky had already identified many of these issues as being worthy of attention and had begun conversations among members of the P-16 community and initiatives aimed at resolving some of these concerns. At the same time, Kentucky's contract for statewide assessment is drawing to a close. In order to write the request for proposals for the new Commonwealth Assessment and Accountability Testing System (CATS), the KDE has had to "re-look" at the Core Content Standards providing the basis for the assessment to make appropriate revisions. In the context of this standard setting, several discussions and proposals have come to light regarding the nature, scope and content of the Kentucky's Core Content standards and the design of the future CATS assessment. Rather than have a piecemeal discussion around the wisdom or appropriateness of specific proposals, it was felt that a broader discussion around the following questions would provide a better framework for discussion of possible systemic change:

    • What is the purpose of high school?
    • What is wrong with the American high school? Do we really have a problem?
    • Are there promising practices to increase the effectiveness of high schools?
    • Are there examples of positive actions from other states?
    • Given that Kentucky's assessment is primarily a school accountability system, what additional goals should the assessment accomplish?
    • What concerns exist with using assessments for multiple purposes?
    • What elements should be included in the assessment to ensure that it accomplishes the desired objectives?
    • What are the implications of redesign for KDE? For postsecondary education? For Kentucky's workforce and economic development agenda? For the benefit the Kentucky's communities? For equity of educational attainment and economic opportunity?

    Featured speakers:

    Mike Cohen, President Achieve, Inc.
    Creating a High School Diploma That Counts (303K PDF)

    Kati Haycock, Director The Education Trust
    Thinking--And Acting--P-16 (49K PDF)
  5. Next Steps
  6. Next Meeting: Wednesday, June 22, 2005
  7. Adjournment


Last Updated 6/29/2005